SOAS University of London

SOAS launches new joint art course with Art Institute Chicago and Guardian Education Center

21 November 2017

SOAS University of London celebrated this week the launch of a new partnership with the Guardian Education Centre, a branch of the China Guardian, one of China’s largest art institutions, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The partnership, which will see the delivery of new courses on Chinese art, was launched on 19 November at a gala dinner in the newly opened Guardian Art Centre in Beijing, a new cultural landmark and headquarters of the China Guardian. SOAS Pro-Director (Research and Enterprise), Professor Richard Black, and Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS, Dr Heather Elgood, attended the event, along with distinguished guests from the Chinese art world including James Rondeau President and Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Art Institute of Chicago and representatives of Christies and the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Beijing image

On the day after the launch, the venue was host to the largest ever SOAS alumni event in Beijing, attracting over 70 guests.  It included a panel discussion on Collecting and the Art world with prominent figures including Dr Tao Wang, Director of Asian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Xibo Wang, Director of the Hong Kong Board at Bonhams, both of whom are SOAS alumni.  Dr Heather Elgood also gave a talk at the event on “The 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuenzang and Ajanta”.

Professor Black said: “This new international partnership between the Guardian Education Centre, SOAS, the Art Institute of Chicago brings together our complementary strengths and diverse networks in an exciting new venture. SOAS has a well-deserved international reputation for its expertise on Chinese art, from the classical to the contemporary period.  This is an excellent opportunity for us to work with two world-leading partners to develop short courses to meet growing demand, and to bring our distinctive perspective on art to Chinese students.”

The first SOAS-organised course to be held in Beijing will be on ‘Collecting of Chinese ceramics and bronzes in the UK and the US’ and will take place in May 2018. 

The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. Founded in 1879, it continues to fulfill the mission to collect, preserve, and interpret works of art of the highest quality, representing the world’s diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession’s highest ethical standards and practices.

Established in 1993 China Guardian is one of the largest and most respected art institutions in China in the fields of art auction, art finance, publication and art education. As a branch of China Guardian, Guardian Education Centre organizes various types of educational events to promote and enrich cultural activities in an international context.